Based on the stories by Hugh Lofting, this is the third Hollywood adaption of the stories. Only the first version from 1968 can really claimed as being based on the books. While this version is kind of correct time period and it has many of the characters from the books the film creates a great deal out of whole cloth but that is fine with me.
The lot of the film has a secluded Dr Dolittle mourning the death of his wife who was on a grand adventure. No one has seen him in ages. When a messenger from the queen arrives on the same day a boy name Tommy Stubbins arrives with a wounded squirrel, Doolittle is reluctantly forced to back into the world. Discovering that the queen has been poisoned he is off to complete the trip that killed his wife. The trouble is the villain who wants the queen dead sends one of Dolittle's rivals to stop him.
I am not sure what people were expecting but DOLITTLE was just joyous fun. While I think the impacted dragon colon was a bit much (it's not quite worth the effort) , I otherwise think this is a marvelous romp that people are going to love.
No it is not not high art but it is utterly charming.
While not breaking a ton of new ground, this is a big Hollywood blockbuster after all, it does entertain. Having read all of the horrible reviews I was expecting an absolute disaster, I instead found it to be exactly what I thought it would be which was Robert Downey and the animals being charming, the dialog full of hope and one liners and entirely too much CGI. It is all that in spades.
I could take each of the critics apart but why bother? The movie will live on past their words.
I love this film. And my inner child who is a huge Hugh Lofting Dr Dolittle fan loves it either more.